Big or small, a car accident disrupts not only your day but the next few days or weeks of your life. In the moments after an accident, you may feel powerless, confused, and out of control of the situation.
Accidents with your parked car can feel even worse. You weren’t there at the time, and there’s a chance that the person who hit you isn’t there now. Whether it’s your first time or you’re accustomed to car accidents, a few steps make this trying situation much easier.
Step 1: Don’t Panic
The temptation is there. No one can blame you for panic, a natural and justified reaction.
But fight the urge and stay calm. While you aren’t accustomed to the situation, everyone else in the chain of systems and policies there to help you sees this kind of thing every day. An Orlando insurance broker can help you find professional assistance before the worst happens.
Step 2: Preserve and Record the Scene
When the authorities and insurance companies assess the damage, they need as much information as possible. Take photographs of the damage from every angle, record any nearby debris, and do not move your car.
It may not seem important but positioning and angles tell a story about the scene if the driver isn’t present.
Step 3: Exchange Insurance Information
In most states, a hit-and-run results in civil and criminal penalties but many drivers still bail.
If possible, find the person who struck your car and exchange insurance information. You need their insurance provider and policy information — and they need yours — to file a claim. More on that later.
Step 4: File a Police Report
Even if the damage is minor, you should report the accident with a call to the police. Police can access more information (such as camera footage), which can be vital if you need to identify or locate a driver who fled the scene. It also creates a paper trail, which expedites the claims process.
Step 5: Contact an Insurance Broker in Florida
Your insurance exists to protect your finances in the event of an accident. The exact characteristics of the accident determine which type of coverage you can use.
If you have the other driver’s insurance information, it is all-but-guaranteed that their property damage liability coverage will pay for your claim. It should have no impact on your insurance premiums since the other company will reimburse you: situations where the accident is the fault of the parking driver are almost unheard of.
Every state requires property damage liability insurance to register and operate a vehicle. But if the driver left the scene or was driving without insurance, you still have options.
Uninsured motorist property damage covers hit-and-runs and uninsured drivers, so your insurance will cover the damages. Florida insurance policies, by default, do not provide this coverage, but an insurance broker in Florida can help you find supplemental policies to cover this gap.